Christopher W Collett

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Chris Collett was a British citizen who was a long term employee of Theodor D Sterling's Canadian company TDS Ltd. which worked almost exclusively for the tobacco industry around the world. He generally acted as the project manager.

Documents & Timeline

1987 Sep 3 Theodor Sterling has written to "Andrew" (Nelmes of Gallaher in UK) and "Ray" (Thornton of BAT in UK). They have obviously asked him to do some pseudo-research in the UK along the lines of the pseudo-research he does in the USA.

He presents the arguments that can be used to counter claims that ETS is harmful to the health of non-smokers, and suggests

To facilitate such research, it may be reasonable to establish a research center in the UK (or elsewhere) capable of doing work similar to that done by TDS Ltd in Vancouver.
To examine that feasibility, a systematic investigation is needed which would indentify:

  • the types of studies that are possible
  • where these studies might best be done and by whome
  • effective methods (meetings) to disseminate results.
  • What measures of success can reasonably be expected from implementing these activities.
  • [need to] identify sources of additional support (public and private collaborators)

He nominates projects worth doing:

  1. To what extent is there a pattern of smoking related to occupation and social status? (Smoking is more prevalent among individuals exposed to hazards in their workplace or through their lifestyles.
  2. Sick Buildings and smoking (A large number os so-called "sick buildings' have been investigated and cigarette smoking is seldom listed as one of the causes)
  3. Is there sufficient data available from building evaluations that can be combined in an information database? (TDS Ltd has one of two such databases in North America)
  4. What are the needs for centers concentrating on building studies?
  5. Modeling the health effects of ETS (There are a number of approaches to use various sources of data to extrapolate possible risks from ETS to nonsmokers. Rigorous use of such data results in a relatively small risk.
  6. What guiding principles underlie existing or planned workplace smoking restrictions? (Based on a TDS Ltd, study for a Canadian federal agency)
  7. Effective public discussion of building air quality problems. (Choosing the type of organisation that would co-sponsor such discussion - needs to be investigated and identified).

He offers to have TDS Ltd. personnel visit the UK, EEC countries and Australia to plan the above. They will also identify a sick building for study, and organise a conference about building problems. He offers himself, Elia Sterling, Chris Collett, Anthony Arundel and Dr Alan Hedge from Cornell University.

They will employ in the Europe and Australia:

  • Prof John S Clifton, Head of Dept of Medical Physics at University College Hospital, London
  • Dr Timo Partanen, Head of Inst. of Occupational Health, Helsinki Finland (an old collaborator of Sterlings)
  • The Hulbert Group, architects in Australia
  • Milton Meckler, a ventilation engineer with experience in Australia

Sterling wants $397,000 for these three inter-related projects [2] [3]